Isaac Chauncy {1632–1712}


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In regards to His own children: God remembers not their sins in a way of judicial proceeding; marking iniquity; it is called therefore God’s dealings in this kind with His children, and are called in the gospel-language, corrections and chastisements; not for destruction or hurt, as all penal evils be, but for reformation and amendments, &c. – God corrects His people from sin, not for sin in a vindictive wrath; for it’s a promise to Christ, and the seed there spoken of, who are redeemed ones and believers. God saith, in case of sin, He will visit their iniquities with a rod, to kill and destroy sin in them; but as for His loving kindness, it shall never depart from them. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}


It’s the sight of Christ, and taste of Christ that carries him forth to all duties of sanctification, he having Christ in all his fulness; he hath done with all his conditions, all his righteousness is filthy rags. A soul truly instated by a lively faith is far above paddling with his own little poor sinful duties, as conditions between him and Christ; he can serve Christ, obey him, and his commandments are not grievous to him, neither will he think they have any such virtue in them as to give him right to Christ, in any way of federal conditionality. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Covenant of Grace

The Covenant of Grace had its being before the Fall, and from the Fall it had its promulgation. Then was that first revealed state of it, before it was the mystery that lay hid in God. But observe, that as it was then manifested, it was absolute as to us. The Seed of the Woman shall break the Serpent’s Head. There was no condition mentioned, nor rationally supposed to be implied – but Christ alone. And it’s to be observed that this covenant promise was made before the sentence was pronounced upon our fallen parents, which blessing was the curse of the Serpent denounced. Now as this promulgated Covenant had it’s being from the Fall, so it continued as the Covenant of Grace and Salvation to all the Faithful under the Old Testament. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, or before them, was looked upon as the only federal condition, which was exemplified by sacrifices, early begun in Adam’s family, and continued till the Messiah came. Now indeed this Covenant in the Epistle to the Hebrews, is not meant in the essential nature of it; but in the veiled state of it under the Mosaic Administration, which is called by the Apostle “the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones,” and opposed to “the ministration of the spirit,” {II Cor.3:6-9} which is the Gospel unveiled ministration, which is said therefore to be new, because of the full and clear discovery that was made by the Revelation of Christ in his coming and ministry, which was not before; and in the same sense Mount Sinai and Mount Zion is opposed in Hebrews 12. And what was seen by this last ministration? It was, that Christ Jesus was the sum and substance of the former ministration. That it was a Covenant of Free-Grace, the Promise given upon the condition of Redemption by the Blood of Christ, which appeared to be the true intent of all the sacrifices. And this is the time, at the appearance of this Mediator, and his fulfilling all righteousness, that there should be this clear, unveiled Dispensation of the Promise. Not but God did thus unconditionally save them before; but now they should understand the true Ground, Principle, and use of the Gospel services and duties. And here all is absolute! God forgives their iniquity, and writes His law in their hearts, where all is absolute and free, without mentioning any condition. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Covenant of Grace

This covenant is said to be absolute, free and unconditional in respect of us that are saved by it, because there was no capacity, ability or will in man since the Fall to perform any covenant conditions or duties to God as such, but he lay utterly condemned and dead in sin. All salvation must come to him of Free Gift – even Life, whereby he might perform any vital act; for all action is from Life, and no action can be before Life, but must proceed from it. Man in innocency acted from Life in innocency; and that he should act before, or without Life, is most absurd to think, or that in a state of spiritual death he should act for life. The natural man can do neither; before he can do anything for God the absolute promise must be performed of giving him Resurrection from the dead, the New Birth, the new Nature, the new Heart. So that the Covenant of Grace is considered as totally free and absolute as to the tenure of, and performance relating unto man in his lost and fallen estate and condition, all the good contained in it relating to us by way of Promise, and bestowed upon us by way of Free Gift, even Faith and all Holiness, Grace and Glory. In the covenant of grace the conditional righteousness is in another. Not only the promise, but the condition is freely given, and is in another. The design of God in the covenant of grace, is not only to save graciously, so He doth save elect angels, but to save mercifully, to take them into covenant with him, that not only are without good qualifications, but such as are most sinful and miserable, and not to qualify them with meriting or dignifying righteousness first, but to save them so, that neither they themselves, nor God himself, will see any federal conditions of righteousness in them. The design of grace is to save the creature in the highest degree of abasement in himself, and far from boasting, or seeing any reason in himself to do it. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Covenant of Grace

The Covenant of Grace is the act of God in the Person of the Father, with us in the Person of Christ; he was the great Covenanter on our part, and the Condition of the Covenant. And when we, by virtue of the promise, take hold of this Covenant, we stand upon this condition with God, and God dispenseth all benefits upon this condition to us. And it’s free and absolute covenant to us, a Covenant of Promise, because not only the promise is bestowed without federal conditions performed by ourselves, and the great Federal Condition the Lord Christ is freely bestowed on us. The great business of the Covenant of Grace is to save sinners, and give them life, being dead in sin and unbelief; and the gift of God is eternal life, begun in remission of sins, and faith in Christ’s blood, which God gives freely unto those that are altogether incapable to perform any conditions for it. He gives these gifts to unbelieving rebellious ones; and if unbelief should hinder these gifts of God’s grace; there’s none could be saved. And as unbelief doth not hinder fundamental covenant right which they have by Christ’s imputation, so it hinders not God’s application when he will work; for then nothing shall hinder. To assert faith or obedience to be federal conditions, doth unavoidably throw men into the Arminian doctrine of Free-will, and of a natural power in man to provide for his salvation in the performance of the said federal conditions. But we affirm, neither faith itself; no, not the gift of the Spirit that works faith, not our union to Christ, no gifts that accompany salvation are federal conditions. Christ in the exercise of His Mediator’s Office in his humiliation and exaltation, is the only federal condition wherein all entitling conditions particularly mentioned in the Gospel are lodged and treasured up, and are freely by Christ bestowed on us. Christ is the only condition - His righteousness is our condition in satisfaction of the Law, both as to active and passive obedience. Rom.10:4. He is the condition in whom it is, through whom eternal life is conveyed to us. I John 5:11. He is the condition through whom all the benefits flow. Eph.1:3. – Redemption – Forgiveness – vs.7. He is the condition of all good, in him, through him, and by him we have {I Cor.1:30} – Reconciliation. Col.1:21. Of him we have our faith. Heb12:2. That Christ is the only federal condition of the covenant, is so clear and plain a Truth throughout all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, that he must deny the Sun in the Firmament that denies this truth; Christ Himself is the sole condition of the Covenant. It’s impossible anything else should be the condition, &c. There’s nothing else can reconcile sinners to God in bearing sin and curse; He only was our condition for reconciliation, as there is nothing else pleadable with God. Christ can plead nothing else in His intercession, but His own righteousness. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}


It’s our sins and our sins in the highest degrees and aggravations that Christ was accountable to God for, and that he bore them in this sense, by way of Imputation, though none of the spot or stain by way of inherent pollution or defilement fell upon Him, nor could cleave unto Him. And we defend the position as the Spirit of God everywhere states it. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}


Imputation for the most part in Scripture is a forensic or Law term, as Justification is; the original word denotes an accounting things or actions to persons which they did not do, or plead that they did not do; as when a man's action comes to be litigation before a judge, the first inquiry is in fact, whether he be guilty of it or not guilty? The judgment of the court by the jury is the imputation or laying guilt upon him, or the acquitting him, which is not only non-imputation of fault to him, but imputing righteousness unto him. The sentence of the judge on the verdict of guilty is Condemnation; on the verdict of not guilty is Justification. – Thus, Imputation is a Law-term, and is used when it comes to be argued in Law, whether this thing or action, whether righteousness or unrighteousness is to be ascribed to a person, whether he stands just or unjust in the eye of the Law, and what the judgment of the court is, is imputation. - Where the Spirit of God speaks of non-imputation of sin, Ps.32:2, Rom.4:8, II Cor.5:19, it always therein asserts imputation of righteousness; for he that is a sinner and hath no sin imputed to him, or charged upon him by the Law is righteous, and found so by the Law, and indeed all proper imputation is by the Law, for sin is not imputed where there is no Law; therefore it's properly the voice of the Law that imputes sin or righteousness, where actions or claims of right come to be questioned and tried; what the Law saith, it saith to them that are under it for judgment and condemns therefore all transgressors, and makes them guilty before God. Rom.3:19. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}


Imputation is also by way of Suretyship, and it is when the sins or debts of one person, are by law charged upon, or imputed to another in order to the salvation of the principal or personal transgressor. Here it is always understood that the payment of a Surety is as good and acceptable to the law as that of the principal. 2. That the Surety cannot become paymaster in law, unless He take the debt or sin upon himself instead of the proper transgressor he being charged himself as transgressor, else the Law can make no demand upon him. 3. He must freely offer himself to be a Surety, for no person can be forced in any case to be the Surety for another. 4. When he hath engaged himself in suretyship, the law takes him person for person, the principal debt becomes his, and his righteousness and payment becomes the principles in a real legal commutation, here is no natural or moral change, but sponsorial and legal, made no logical change, for one relation is not changed into another, the surety into the principal, nor principal into the surety; but in the judgment of the Law the principal debt becomes the Surety's and the Surety's payment is the principals, whereupon the principal in respect of that sin or debt for which satisfaction is made, hath the discharge in full, and is as perfectly righteous as to that, as the Surety himself; he is not it may be so rich and honorable as his surety, but in respect of the debt satisfied, the law hath no more to say to him than to the Surety. - He that bears the sins of others must be a representative and public person, that must personate or bear the persons of them whose sins he bears, and must be either substituted by the court, or if by some other, he must be allowed to be capable and able to make payment, must be accepted and dealt with in the name and upon the account of the other, and becomes a debtor or transgressor in and for the person he doth represent in court, and becomes a delinquent in the eye of the law, the law imputing sin to him makes him sin, because he is supposed to own nothing on his own account; he that doth in market represent one or more, and stands not, nor acts for himself, but others, is a public person and representative. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Imputation of Adam’s Sin

Adam was the greatest representative in respect of the number represented by him, that ever was, and all mankind sinned in him. Sin did not come upon us by propagation only {though a sinner can propagate none but a sinner} but by imputing Adam's first sin to all his posterity, for judgment of imputation came upon all to condemnation of the whole kind; else Adam’s first sin should affect us no more than any other of his sins, and Adam’s sins no more than the sins of any other of our progenitors. Hence Adam's sin came upon us federally, and by way of imputation as well as by propagation and seminal descent; for the privation of the image of God by Adam's sin, which was his mortal death, was a public loss, never to be regained by any that have their standing only in him. Hence every natural man is in him, stands under that first privation, and therefore under that first guilt; and as every man by nature stands under that guilt, he also is under the condemnation. Wrath and the curse of the Law, death passed upon all men, in that all have sinned; though the apostle speaks but of Adam's sin, Rom.5:12,16, and of death passing upon all by that sin imputed by the Law, as appears by the following word, that all died in Adam, the apostle is express, I Cor.15:22. Understand it of which death you please, spiritual or corporal, that in Adam all died, it infers necessarily that Adam was a public person; for we cannot be said to live or die in another's life or death, but as he is a public person, vs.49, we are said to bear the image of the earthly, &c., in his fallen state, which shows that his image was of a public nature to all his posterity, and his loss of God's image, a sin imputed to all of mankind. I cannot stay to insist largely on the proof of the imputation of Adam's sin, but it is a point of so great concern, that the denial of it overthrows the Gospel in the true state thereof; I shall only acquaint the reader, that the Neonomians, together with the Socinians and Quakers, lay this denial in the foundation of their rotten doctrine. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

 Kingly Office of Christ

Christ our Redeemer gives commands, and exerts a Kingly Power in Government of His Church, and hath judgment committed to Him; but these are not of the gospel conditions of life unto sinners propounded in the Gospel. God doth not require obedience to the laws of Christ in His Church as federal conditions of eternal life. Such obedience is part of the Life promised. There is the Essence of the Gospel, and the Effects of the Gospel. The essence of the gospel is altogether promise and free gift, the effects of the gospel is every privilege and blessing, and the production of all good fruits in service and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Law and Gospel

Every Sermon that makes the Gospel a Law; that press duty under a law-sanction, should not only be a matter of debate; but earnestly contended against; for the performance of duty as terms enforced by a law-sanction is a covenant of works. So that such men are preachers of a law, it’s no matter what law. Works performed under a law-sanction are legal works, and do make the covenant enjoining them a covenant of works. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Law and Gospel

I deny that the Gospel takes in or includes any moral preceptive part of the Law as a rule of happiness and misery, with sanction as a federal condition, nor any additional precepts, which suppose our apostate state, as faith and repentance. For it were vain to set up such a law, seeing a law of works proved fruitless to man in his perfect state; it’s much more likely to be of none effect, we being now a thousand times more unable to perform the old Law, or a new one with additional precepts; and it becomes not the wisdom of God to make a Law to enjoin new obedience to dead men, unless He makes them alive first. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Love of God

There is nothing to be concluded, that God is angry with the persons of true believers, from those expressions that refer to a national church, when there is a mixture of believers and unbelievers; God always when He speaks to such, in a way of anger, hath respect to the generality or prevailing party, according to which He doth in external ways of His providence carry Himself towards the whole. Objection: God was angry with Moses, Ex.4:14. Deut.4:21, 9:21. Answer: No man of sense would bring that of Exodus 4:14, to prove God was angry with Moses in your sense, for Moses was then in converse with God, who was calling him to a great undertaking, whereat Moses was surprised and pleaded his own insufficiency; which plea of his, when it favoured of unbelief, God rebuked; not that there was in God penal anger against his person; but He rebukes his sin that he might not go on in the same sin and unbelief, and its spoken after the manner of men; and so often in Scripture God’s rebukes of sin in His children by word or providence is termed His anger, because its so against God, and seems to be so with their persons, by God’s carriage to them, many times in their apprehensions; and yet for all that, whom He loves, He loves to the end. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Mediatorial Work of Christ

Christ wrought out our forgiveness by way of atonement as a Priest, and God was atoned and appeased thereby; and therein he also gloriously triumphed in His Kingly Office, spoiling principalities and powers, triumphing over them on the cross, Col.2:14; and through death he destroyed him that hath the power of death, even the devil, Heb.2:14. In that place, Christ is meant in all his offices; first as a Priest entered into the holiest of all, Heb.4:14. Application is by virtue of His intercession to obtain the ends of His death; likewise as a Prophet he teacheth by His Spirit and Gospel, the promise of eternal life, and the whole mystery of His incarnation, sufferings, and exaltation; he as a King conquers and subdues the hearts of sinners to Himself, and gives forth the promise of the Father, and hence there comes the application of pardon, and that Life laid up and hid in Himself, Col.3:1-3. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Pardon of Sin

If pardon of all sins be not at once, then no man is justified at once; for he that is not pardoned for all sins, is not justified, but lies under condemnation; besides, so often as he sins he is unjustified; and if unjustified, fallen from grace; for where there’s no justification there’s no sanctification. As to our Saviour’s teaching His disciples to pray for pardon daily, it’s easily answered. That pardon of sin in Scripture sense, is to be understood of God’s manifesting pardon and forgiveness to justified ones; its of the grace that we receive in Christ from day to day, it’s the lifting up of the light of God’s countenance upon us, and the Sun of Righteousness shinning with healing in His wings or rays of grace. How many other benefits that a believer hath in Christ, doth He daily pray for? As for the spirit of adoption, sanctification in Christ Jesus, who is as surely made to us sanctification as justification. All the blessings that we have in Christ, we pray for, and its needful that we have them in Christ, or else we can’t pray in faith for them. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Preaching of the Gospel

The main of our ministry consists in preaching Christ, and bringing sinners unto Him, and building them up in Him. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}


It was His pleasure to govern as He wished to govern, and all the connection of events, so as they come to pass in a way of necessity and contingency. But He determined absolutely, and nothing that falls out is contingent to Him; for He judgeth not of events as probable by opinion, but as certain to His knowledge; and therefore knows them, because He willeth them to come to pass, according to His council and purpose in Himself. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Righteousness of Christ

If you understand judicial in respect of the justice of God, answered by the righteousness of Christ, purchasing all good gifts and blessings for sinners that deserve nothing but wrath, it may be said of justification. But, if you understand judicial in respect of any duty, grace or qualification that is found in us, though wrought by the Spirit, I abhor it as an abominable position; and your saying, ‘the wedding garment was faith,’ and not the Righteousness of Christ - is a wretched wresting and abuse of Scripture, turning the sweet and precious doctrine of our Lord and Saviour against himself. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Righteousness of Christ

In respect of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ that is imputed unto a believer, he is perfect, and without spot in the eye of God’s justice, and that in Christ this righteousness is perfect holiness, and as such is theirs as in their Head, Col.1:19-22, 2:10. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}


Our life of sanctification is in Christ – we are sanctified in Christ Jesus; and He is made of God to us sanctification. As we are created in Him, so we live in Him as to holiness, and we have a completeness of sanctification in Him; and though that fulness of sanctification is not properly said to be communicated by imputation, as by derivation of grace; yet this infused grace arising into duties mingled with much corruption, must be covered by the imputed righteousness of Christ, that they may be accepted as well as our persons. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}

Satisfaction of Christ

There is so full security and provision made for all the elect, that as to Christ bearing their sins, and satisfaction to Divine Justice, there is as much already done by  Christ as ever shall in respect of satisfaction; “for he was once offered to bear the sins of many, Heb.9:28. And if the sins of the elect were borne by Christ, they were satisfied for, and in respect of Divine Essential Justice there can be nothing laid to their charge, so as to affect them with a stroke of vindictive justice. Those that are elected are redeemed by Christ, Eph.1:5,6. And when the Spirit of God speaks of an elect person, it always speaks of him as secure in His Person from wrath and condemnation, as to the real execution of the sentence of the law upon him, Rom.8. Isaac Chauncy {Neonomianism Unmasked 1692}


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Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle
and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. Hebrews 3:1